Directions & Box Office
- Directions: By Subway, take the C/E to 50th Street, walk north on Eight Avenue and then turn right onto 52nd Street. Or take the 1 to 50th Street, walk north on Broadway and then make a left onto 52nd Street.
- Entrance: 52nd Street, between 8th Ave and Broadway The August Wilson Theatre (formerly know as the Virginia Theatre) is located on the north side of 52nd Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue.
- Box Office Hours:
- Monday - Saturday:
- 9am - 8pm
- 9am - 10pm
Best Seats In The House
- Seats: 1222
The August Wilson Theatre has just under 1,300 seats and is a mid-size theatre. The best views are from the middle and front orchestra and the front mezzanine. Tthere are obstructed view seats in the theatre, particularly in the back of the orchestra, where the overhanging mezzanine blocks the view of the top of the stage.
Parking for August Wilson Theatre
The closest parking garages for August Wilson Theatre are located at:
- ICON Command Parking
- 216 W 54th Street
New York, NY 10019
- ICON Matinee 52
- 215 W 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
The closest parking is not always the best as it often takes longer to park and retrieve your vehicle as fellow theatre goers have the same idea. A better choice of parking may be the second choice or further away by a couple of Avenues.
The Virginia Theatre was renamed in 2005 to The August Wilson Theatre in honor of the passing of the playwright August Wilson. Wilson was best known for his work on a series of ten plays collectively called The Pittsburgh Cycle.
The plays chronicle the experiences and heritage of the African-American community in the 20th century.
Landlord: Jujamcyn Theaters
Official Ticketer: Telecharge
August Wilson Theatre History
Most Broadway houses were built by wealthy impresarios, but the August Wilson Theatre had a different sort of beginning.
The theatre was originally designed to be home to the Theatre Guild, a popular repertory company that included such distinguished members as the Lunts and Edward G. Robinson.
The company named its new space The Guild Theatre and opened it in 1925 with George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra. For nearly 20 years, the Guild had its ups and downs, and eventually after a series of flops they finally leased the theater to WOR Mutual Radio in 1943.
The American National Theatre and Academy bought the place in 1950, renovated it, and re-named it the ANTA Playhouse. They presented a number of acclaimed plays, including Pulitzer Prize winner J.B., A Man for All Seasons, Blues for Mister Charlie, The Owl and the Pussycat, and The Royal Hunt of the Sun.
In addition to its own productions, the ANTA also hosted touring companies such as the Dancers of Bali, and Alvin Ailey and Paul Taylor's dance troupes; from '53 to '55, the space was leased to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
In 1981, Jujamcyn bought the playhouse and named it the Virginia Theatre after Jujamcyn Theatres co-owner Virginia Binger. But in 2005, the name was changed to the August Wilson Theatre, after the late American playwright.
August Wilson Theatre Design
The August Wilson Theatre has a large, long lobby, and adjoining it is a comfortable lounge area. When the audience is packed in and milling around the space before and after shows, the low lighting and earthy tones make it feel almost like an upscale bar or club.
Inside the theater, the walls have a unique textured, sponge-like paint job. The box seats are unusually high up, and rather than jutting out as boxes usually do, they recede into the wall and are literally fenced in.
At the extreme right and left front sides of the orchestra there are handsome Roman arches and columns, behind which are exits. Upstairs, there is an exit that leads to an outdoor stairwell -- on a warm night, it's a nice place to stand for a few moments to admire the view of 52nd Street.